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IBM Cognos Review
It provides flexibility in exposing data from a single model to diverse users.


Valuable Features:

  • Data modeling allows for better management and flexibility in exposing data from a single data model to diverse users.
  • Flexibility of customization allows for designing custom solutions with ease.
  • Scalability: It is very easy to add/remove a node in the Cognos cluster.

Improvements to My Organization:

We have several reports that users access on a daily basis. We have also created multiple custom solutions to access reports from within an external application, as well as execute and deliver reports in a batch to a network location.

Room for Improvement:

I think that IBM has done a great job with regularly improving this product and keeping up with the competing products. A couple of areas of improvement could be made in alerts for the application monitoring. It is hard to set up alerts when a servicer becomes unresponsive. The other improvement would be in improving the audit capabilities (including the database) of the application. The audit database is somewhat complex in developing good system usage reports.

Use of Solution:

I have used it for eight years.

Stability Issues:

I encountered stability issues, but it was more a problem in version 8. Starting from version 10, the stability issues have significantly reduced.

Scalability Issues:

I have not encountered any scalability issues. Cognos scales very easily and we have several options for scaling the environment.

Technical Support:

Technical support is 6/10, more for the IBM partner from which we purchased the Cognos licenses. The challenge has been that most of the time, when you purchase it through IBM partners, because they are not the developers of the product, they have to go back to the IBM support and get the information and then relay it back to their customers; that adds extra time to solving the problem.

Previous Solutions:

We have used this solution from the beginning, as it was part of the ERP purchase option.

Initial Setup:

Initial setup was straightforward. Cognos was very easy to install and configure and the documentation provided by IBM was very user friendly.

Cost and Licensing Advice:

Cognos licensing is comparable to other competing products. IBM provides several licensing options such as named vs CPU licenses, and it is better to understand the current and future reporting needs before opting for any licensing option.

Other Solutions Considered:

IBM Cognos was part of the ERP bundle that we purchased. Cognos was part of the package and was sold through an IBM partner.

Other Advice:

Understand your current and future BI needs. Understand the information/insight you are looking to get from your BI application. Understand how you would calculate your ROI on your BI investment. Tool selection should be the last step in the development and deployment of any BI environment.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

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